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Things Fall Apart Study Guide Questions

Chapters 7 and 8

6. When Okonkwo returns, Nwoye experiences a feeling that is not new to him.
What caused him to experience this feeling the first time.

Nwoye first experiences this feeling when he hears the screams of twins abandoned
in the Evil Forest.

“They were returning home with baskets of yams from a distant farm across the
stream when they heard the voice of an infant crying in the thick forest.” (61)

7. How does Ikemefuna’s death affect Okonkwo?

Ikemefuna’s death has a grave impact on Okonkwo. In fact, Okonkwo has trouble
sleeping and lacks an appetite several days after killing Ikemefuna.

“Okonkwo did not taste any food for two days after the death of Ikemefuna… He did
not sleep at night…” (63)

8. What is strange about Ogbuefi Ndulue’s death?

Ogbuefi Ndulue’s death was strange, since his wife died shortly after learning of his
death. Additionally, the drum did not beat to alert Umuofia of his death.

“When the youngest wife went to call her again… she found her lying on the mat,
dead.” (68)

9. Why are the men bargaining?

The men are bargaining in order to obtain a fair bride price for Obierka’s daughter.

“In this way Akuke’s bride price was finally settled at twenty bags of cowries.” (73)












10. Why is Amadi called a white man?

Amadi was called a white man, since he had leprosy.

“He was a leper, and the polite name for leprosy was “the white skin.” (74)

11. Why do you think Achebe included the long scene in which Okonkwo visits his
friend Obierka? List two things you learned about Ibo culture from this scene.

Achebe likely included the long scene in which Okonkwo visits his friend Obierka in
order to demonstrate the process of purchasing a bride. Evidence of this lies in the
fact that the men conversed and drank palm wine prior to negotiating the bride
price. I learned that the Ibo people decide the bride price with bundles of sticks.
Additionally, I learned the importance of the ozo title in Ibo culture.

“They do not decide the bride-price as we do, with sticks.” (73)

“They have indeed soiled the name of ozo.” (70)

Chapters 9 and 10

1. Why is Okonkwo finally able to sleep?

Okonkwo is finally able to sleep after discussing manly topics with his friend
Obierka. In this way, Okonkwo occupied his mind with something other than
Ikemefuna.

“Okonkwo was beginning to feel like his old self again… But in absence of work,
taking was the next best.” (69)

2. What’s wrong with Ezinma?

Ezinma has a fever, yet her mother fears that she may succumb to the illness and
die.

“All this had happened more than a year ago… And then suddenly she had begun to
shiver in the night.” (85)

3. What is an ogbange?

An ogbange is an evil spirit that repeatedly dies and returns to its mother to be
reborn.




4. How can the medicine man “take care” of the ogbanje?

There are various methods of “taking care” of an ogbanje, including the mutilation of
the dead child or finding the iyi-uwa.

“He brought out a sharp razor from the goatskin bag… and began to mutilate the
child.” (78)

5. How is the steaming pot used?

The steaming pot is placed in front of Ezinma, where she is forced to inhale the
steam.

“Ezinma struggled to escape from the chocking and overpowering steam.” (86)

6. Why are all the men gathered together?

All of the men are gathered together to witness the trial conducted by the Egwugwu.

“It was clear from the way the crowd stood or sat that the ceremony was for men.”
(87)

7. Some villagers knew that the second egwugwu was really Okonkwo. Why do you
suppose they didn’t say anything about it to anyone?

The egwugwu are supposed to be men manifested by ancient spirits. Therefore,
acknowledging one of the egwugwu as Okonkwo would contradict the Ibo belief,
since the masked men are supposed to be manifestations of ancient fathers.

“The egwugwu with the springy walk was one of the dead fathers of the clan.” (90)

8. Do you feel the judges’ decision in the case of Uzowulu is fair? Explain.

The judges’ decision in the case of Uzowulu is fair, since the man is forced to beg for
his wife if he truly wants for her to return. Additionally, if he beats his wife again,
her brothers will castrate him.

9. The chief judge, Evil Forest, says “Our duty is not to blame this man or praise that,
but to settle the dispute.” Is this goal achieved?

This goal is achieved, since the man is forced to bring palm wine to his in-laws and
beg for the return of his wife. Additionally, the brothers determine that the man will
be castrated if he beats their sister again.



10. So far, what have you learned about the role of women in this village.

So far, I have learned that the women play a crucial role in the village. They care for
the children, cook various meals, and can even be messengers between men and the
gods (priestess).

Chapter 11

1. What animal does Ekwefi tell a folk tale about?

Ekwefi tells a folk tale about a turtle.

2. Chielo interrupts the storytelling. What announcement does she make?

Cheilo announces that Agbala wants to see Ekwefi.

“She was saying again and again that Agbala wanted to see his daughter, Ezinma.”
(100)

3. What does Chielo do when she hears Ekwefi walking behind her?

When Chielo hears Ekwefi walking behind her, she threatens to kill her.

“Whether you are spirit or man, may Agbala shave your head with a blunt razor!
May he twist your neck until you see your heels.” (105)

4. How does Okonkwo react when the priestess first makes her announcement?

When the priestess makes her first announcement, Okonkwo requests that she
return in the morning since Ekwefi has been sick.

“Okonkwo was still pleading that the girl had been ill of late and was asleep.” (100)

5. What is the customary Ibo reply when someone sneezes?

The customary Ibo reply when someone sneezes is “Life to you”.

(104)








6. At the end of chapter 11, Ekwefi remembers her past. What do her memories
show you about her feelings toward Okonkwo?

Ekwefi’s memories demonstrate her deep love for Okonkwo, since she ran away
from her husband to be with him.

“Two years after her marriage… she could bear it no longer… she ran away to
Okonkwo.” (109)

7. Why do you think the Oracle called for Ezinma?

The Oracle likely called for Ezinma, since she is destined to become priestess.
Evidence of this lies in the fact that Chielo, the current priestess, has always cared
deeply for Ezinma and her well-being.

Chapters 12 and 13

1.